by Giovanni Battista Casti (1724 - 1803)
Translation © by Andrew Schneider

Io re sono e sono amante
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Io re sono e sono amante.    
Il mio amor è un brutto affanno,
il mio regno è un bel malanno,
ma la taglia è peggio ancor.
Quando volgo il mio pensiero
alla mia crudel Lisetta,
par che irato amor mi metta
mille diavoli nel cor.
Ch'io son re poi mi rammento,
e dai stimoli di gloria
cose a far degne d'istoria
infiammar mi sento allor.
Ma la solita paura
smorza amor, la gloria oscura,
e aver parmi sulla groppa
il sicario che m'accoppa
e con qualche botta ria
mi risana in sempiterno
dall'eroïca pazzia
della gloria e dell'amor.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Andrew Schneider) , "I am a king and a lover.", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-06-05
Line count: 20
Word count: 98

I am a king and a lover.
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
I am king and a lover.
My love is a cruel torment,
my kingdom a great misfortune,
but my rewards are even worse.
When I turn my thoughts to my cruel Lisetta,
Love seems to place within my heart
one thousand devils.
I remember then that I am king,
and glory stimulates me
and inflames my inner being to accomplish
doughty, historic deeds.
But my accustomed fear 
extinguishes love and obscures glory,
and, feeling as I do on my shoulders
a hitman just waiting to bump me off,
with a low blow I am cured forever and ever
of the insane heroics of glory and love.


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2018 by Andrew Schneider, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2018-06-05
Line count: 17
Word count: 106